Dorky Chick Diaries: a Long @$$ Look at E-culture

Guys, this social media thing is driving me crazy. As some of you know, it was part of my new years resolution to become more literate in social media, and I slated 2013 to be the year where I embrace the privilege of mass communication. After all, it’s already dominating the way the world works. E-communication has broken the legs of business and then handed it crutches. It’s where the money is, but what’s of more interest to me, is that it is where our culture is!

I’m perplexed by social media because it’s such a magnitudinal influence on what I would consider as “my” culture, yet I know so little about it. I’m embarrassed of my American stereo-typicalness, for the first things I think of when evaluating the word “culture” are Moroccan food, ballet, and plane tickets. And how I want some…badly! I reflexively deem travel to be the easiest means of cultural experience, such as if I’m somewhere new I like to eat the local fare, talk to local people, and transport as the locals do. It can involve eating funky mystery meats or getting scoffs for snapping photos from passers-by, but it’s all worth it as I feel washed with humility and elation as the world becomes more interesting; more filled with potential. The shows and sights and sounds of different dialects have  clouded my perception as to what culture is by definition:

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The largest collective of human intellect? The internet.

Having come to this conclusion, it’s time I live consciously in the culture, or should I say “e-culture” of which I’m already a part. This means recognizing the resources of inspiration, connectivity, and self-expression that are out there and becoming part of them myself. This also means coming to understand what parts of this culture aren’t worth my time and efforts. I want to be able to establish identity for myself and support the identity establishing of others. We all have voices and ideas, and this is friggin’ exciting!

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While enthused about new perspective, I’ve historically been plagued with apathy as I don’t respond to snapchats, can take days or weeks to reply to Facebook comments, and only update Twitter because it’s linked to my WordPress account. Truth is, I’m torn when it comes to social media. I want to jump in with both feet, but I’ve grown up with a corn-fed moral code and I see a conflict there. I don’t want to be seen as one who boasts, who is ungrateful, or who is stricken with vanity. With the internet as a sea of self-promotion, I ask myself: how can someone truly reflect their values and still find ways to stand out in the cyberworld of today?

As I try and develop a plan for myself to further explore social media and e-culture, I feel that the only way I can move forward with an unweighted conscious is by exercising my online voice honestly. This involves taking a long look at what my goals are and why I want to achieve them, because there is no doubt in my mind that social media will be instrumental in the way my future unfolds. Here I am, a former “beauty queen”, hobbyist model/actress, who says she wants a career in fashion and, yet, I claim to dismiss ownership of the internet plagues: vanity, boastfulness, and self-promotion?

I’ve got to be kidding me. 

But I know that’s not who I am, and quite frankly, I’m reliant on honesty to execute my e-dentity the way that paves my future for successes thats are rewarding beyond the superficial. If I want to take part in the visual world of fashion and art around me, and do this in the culture of 2013, I’m going to have to it in a way that is shameless.

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Okay so not shameless like Snooki… but shameless in the sense of the word that I’m going to work really hard. Part of working really hard means showing the dedication of time, effort, and energy put forth towards a passion.

Success comes from knowing one’s strengths, and I know I’ll have no control over the perceptions of others as I litter their news feeds. (and hopefully yours ;)) I have to know within myself that I’m not vain or boastful. I’m just friggin’ excited! I’m finally old enough to wear big-girl clothes and put on lipstick and go out there and make my mark. I’ve found out that I can be a woman of influence with a voice simply because I, like everyone else, am part of the human population. Aside from that, enthusiasm and vital signs are really all you need to get started. I’m going to tweet like a ticklish bird! I’m going to update my Facebook like a preteen who drank too much Mountain Dew! I’m going to Instagram with the fortitude of a US weekly paparazzi! Because this, my friends, is culture. It’s not as tasty as Moroccan food, but it’s just as relevant to our lives. We are so lucky to be able to record the crazy ride that is life in a way that is more thorough and raw than ever before.

I’m cyber-jumping in…with both feet.

Which are likely in cyber-heels.

And are likely cyber-adorable. 😉

Thanks for reading my diary. Happy almost-Tuesday.

xo

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WEEoooWEEoo: Project alert!… and a follow up on fabric!

So these past couple weeks have brought new excitement with the beginning of my intermediate dresses class. Each woman is given a different dress pattern of her choosing and over the next weeks we will complete it thoroughly!

“Uhh so you’re getting a pattern and making it? That’s it?” Yes. And also, no! This dress class incorporates pattern fittings, instruction on lining, new skills, and close supervision. So when I’m all done I’m going to have a dress that doesn’t just reflect skills I have, it will also be a showcase of new ones!

Here’s the pattern I chose:

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This wrap dress  is an exclusive pattern of my sewing studio, but is clearly inspired by the classic design of Diane Von Furstenburg in the 1970’s as a way for women to look professional and also stylish in the workplace. It still holds that purpose today, but can be worn on any occasion that suits you!Image

My venture to Fabric Depot the other day was to scavenge through the myriad of cloth choices to find something that I would want to wear, that fit the criteria, and, most importantly, matched my hair (which is still difficult….)

I found a 100% cotton print that is sturdy, but has just a little give and is lightweight enough to wear in summer, but not too lightweight that it wrinkles easily! Some pretty fabrics didn’t stand up to the wrinkle test. (Tip: next time you are thinking about buying a clothing item or fabric, take a bit of the material and bunch it up in your hand. Release it, and see if the wrinkles stay. The more wrinkles, means the harder the garment is to maintain it’s original shape, and is something to take into consideration.)

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This stuff passed the wrinkle test with flying colors, and I found a grey lining for a reasonable price that should hang nicely with it.

As you can see, it’s not really wearable yet…

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But if Portland keeps having such nice weather I may never need it!

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teehee!

Time to go and soak up that vitamin D! Have a great Saturday, and thank you so much for reading! You may think I’m just saying that, but I’m not. It means a lot 🙂

xo!

Fabric De-whoa ! Adventures in fabric shopping!

Fabric buying is an essential part of the sewing process.

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If you don’t have fabric, you like can’t sew like anything. 

 

 

 

duh.

My experience has been very limited in fabric shopping; a fairly routine task. Go to Joann’s.  Find something that doesn’t look like an old lady would quilt. Go home and sew. Back when I lived in Iowa, I’d mix it up and to Walmart occasionally. Tsk tsk.  But the time has come to graduate from that mentality! Living in a bigger city means more resources. I now have different stores to choose from, both independent and large chain! Usually between activities, I had been jetting out to Joann’s to stick in my safe routine, but this week I decided it was time to branch out for my new project.

I’d heard of Fabric Depot but I hadn’t yet been, so on a sunny Monday I set out to the other side of town to see what all the hubbub was about. This 1.5 acre sales floor boasts the largest selection of fabric in the nation, and I think I drooled all over the bolts out of excitement. For anyone who actually sews and designs their own fashions, they are probably shaking their heads and throwing their hands up and saying

where the hell have you been!?!

I’ve been living under here:

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(Har har)

I was shaking my head in dismay but had to forgive myself and remember that this is fun! I frolicked amongst the different knits and weaves and silks and satins and chiffons and taffetas and broadcloths and linens and poplins and wools and linings and buttons and threads and zippers and clippers and it looked a lot like this:

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Okay so maybe I didn’t, but that is exactly what I wanted to do! So many amazing things to see and feel.

 

IMG_0007_2IMG_0006_2IMG_0005_2Naturally there was a greater price range, but I was still able to find something unique that I needed for a decent price. Constructing garments isn’t necessarily the most cost effective method anymore. In fact, it’s probably more expensive– stay tuned and we will cover that topic another day. But like I always say, you never have to shop on a budget! As long as you buy on one! And as soon as I saw the “special occasion” section, I did just that.

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OOh la la!!IMG_0010_2

 

Cha cha cha!!IMG_0008_2

Ay carumba!!! It’s a good thing I’m on a budget….

I’d been there so long people were starting to look at me funny….IMG_0011_2

So I called it a win and headed for the checkout!

There is a first time for everything, and I am pretty excited that at Fabric Depot this won’t be the last. I’ll tell you all about my fabrics and project next time. Thanks for staying tuned! I’ve been up to a lot of projects this week, but unfortunately that leaves me less time for typing.Also, it’s been sunny and beautiful, and vitamin D and cold beverages are really important of the creative process…   Be prepared for an explosion of Dorky Chick in Lipstick shrapnel on your newsfeed in the coming days!

Have you “liked” dorkychickinlipstick.com on Facebook yet? Yes, you who is reading this right now! Sneak on over to www.facebook.com/dorkychickinlipstick and brighten my day, eh?

xo!

Not too shabs: Lurneen sumfingz

I was enjoying some crummy gas station coffee (which I secretly love), listening to some afrobeat on Songza, and reading the May issue of Marie Claire (one of my faves) and while ogling at the Moroccan-inspired fashion spread, I came across two pages of photos with items I’d featured in my blog! On the left is from the Gucci 2013 Spring line, as featured in one of my earliest blogs Gravity and Gucci and on the right are those signature Louis Vuitton checks that popped off the runway and into my blog Pineapple Eye Massage !

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You’d think by the time I hit higher education that I wouldn’t be so surprised to find real-world application of something I’m learning, but maybe I’m still scarred from long division…

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*cough cough*

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I think you get the point.

So thanks Marie Claire for giving me another reason to stay optimistic. Turns out this little project really is  teaching me a thing or two 🙂

Did you miss the entries on Gucci and LV?

Check ’em out here:

Gravity and Gucci

Pineapple Eye Massage

More to come! Thanks for reading!

xo

What I’ll do 20 years from now when I find this dress in Goodwill Bins

I present the Dorky Chick in Lipstick Decree:

You can always shop on an unlimited budget, as long as you spend within yours. 🙂

(And, yes, smiley faces are totally appropriate in decrees.)

Today’s budget for this girl was 2 bucks for clean clothes, 4 bucks for Numi Toasted Rice Tea and a Clif Bar, and a free seat on my couch with my laptop. Ahh a perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon of luxury shopping (on budget!)

My latest crush is on this midi-length, soldier-print dress by Dolce & Gabbana. It is part of their 2013 Spring collection, so it is no wonder that it has my trend-dar going berserk! The vibrant hues make it a head-turner, while the print makes it interesting, yet, surprisingly not overwhelming. Like all of my favorite things to shop for, it is way out of my price range, but there is always hope that 20 years from now I can buy it at a vintage consignment store…right? *tear* Fortunately for both of us, this dress comes with free inspiration! That’s right! It didn’t cost me a darn thing to get my imagination churning when I saw it. And free is definitely in my budget 🙂

So here is the piece I was talking about!

The Dolce & Gabbana printed silk organza dress on the runway:

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And here is the dress as I would style it! I chose two different looks that really speak to me and my personal style.

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I love clean and classic, and thought that simple sophistication would be a great way of showing off the chicness of the garment. Gold detailing and nude, uncompromising heels give the dress a polished look, while the chunky black shades are an affirmation of confidence. Natural makeup and a sleek bun round out what this look, which is everything I love about being a woman; it is refined, yet has a certain amount of prowess that makes it sexy without being revealing.

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I want to see this dress break some rules with it’s bold reds and contrasting blues. I love the idea of toning the dress down by bulking up with shameless accessories. The studs on the boots suddenly take the dress from high-tea to high-octane, and the layered necklace reinforces that the its not about the dress, but the woman in the dress. I also wanted to find another pattern to play with the print, and thought this Marc Jacobs was so crazy it just might work.  Of course she needs some of that crazy-wave hair and sunnies to keep it bold from head to toe.

A downside to falling in love with this dress is that it will be hard to go out and find a comparable version unless this style of fabric printing can become part of mainstream trends. I know that if I wanted to recreate this by just going to a fabric store and looking for fabric, I’d be hard pressed to find just what I’m looking for, and it would definitely be a challenge to make it original. That is probably good for Dolce & Gabbana, though, because intellectual property doesn’t exist in the fashion world. How do you think I find such good knockoffs?  But, that’s another blog for another day. For now, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that prints like these start trickling down the fashion chain.

Well happy Friday to all! I hope you can get in some luxury shopping this weekend 🙂

xo

 

My dad doesn’t need Google for fashion advice

My dear readers I have a special treat for you- my first guest contributor! After reading my suit article, I got an e-mail from my favorite guy in a suit! My dad! (yes apparently he is reading my fashion blog- what a guy! haha) So with his permission, I’ve included his two cents! 

Miss Caroline,  As one who started his working years in the men’s clothing business, at a high end men’s retail and tailor shop, I know a little something about suits.  My personal preference is in the style.  There are different styles of men’s suits.  The traditional style calls for a three button coat, a single “hooked” center of the back flap, and lapped seams(rather than single seams).  In the summer time cotton poplin, linen, and seersucker are my preferred cloths, though a very light hard finish thin wool can be nice.  In the winter I prefer 100% wool, with a hard finish.  Soft finish, like thick cloth, for blazers is good, too.  The trousers can be either plain front or pleated, but traditional calls for cuffs on the trousers.  I prefer a 2 inch cuff.  A lot of the high vis folks you pictured were wearing more fashion oriented suits, but my favorite is still the classic traditional style.  Hope that helps.  I love you,  Dad

Thanks, Dad! He doesn’t need Google to know what’s up. Let’s take a look at his pointers.

Traditional style coat has three buttons:

images-4 NO

images-2Yes

A hooked back flap?

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Oh! I get it now!

Wait, lapped seams? *tikka tikka tikka* I know these! I’ve been taught they are called “flat fell” seams. These are the kinds of seams you can probably find on the inside of your leg on your jeans! Look down! In fact, I used these on those flashy PJ’s I wore in “Breakfast-Casual” and Hairdryer Glamour Shots both on the shoulder seams and on the inside seams! If you weren’t wearing jeans and need a better idea of what I’m talking about then behold: the flat-fell/ lapped seam

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My dad mentioned his preferences for fabrics, also, which is an increasingly relevant topic in my life. (I just started my textiles classes tonight!) And he’s not kidding– he boasts a sharp collection of seersucker suits. If you aren’t literate in fabrics yet, thats okay! I probably wouldn’t know what seersucker was called if I hadn’t seen him wearing it all these years. You’ve seen it- its a lightweight fabric that is striped in white and pastel.

images-3 << I think he has at least 3 out of 5 of these colors.

I neglected to clearly acknowledge the way the seasons correlate with fabrics as it relates to suits, so this was a great point to address.

Moving on to pants, here is a great photo showing both styles my dad mentioned in his note. The left is the pleated complete with 2 inch cuffs, while the right is pleat and cuff-less.

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Even though my dad would pass up Justin’s “Suit and Tie” to listen to these suited gentlemen…

…he still knows what he’s talking about.

And you can take that to the bank!

Pics of my trrrrenday outfit 4.17

Got in some cardio doing some shopping today looking for some quick fixes for a headshot session tomorrow with the uber-talented Levy Moroshan and MUA Aimee J’Adore. Stay tuned- I’ve got some words about the process on my end, and eventually I will have new pictures. (Yes, ones that weren’t taken with a macbook. Don’t give me that look) I’ve been having some uncertainty in finding the right pops of color to rock this spring with my new flaming hurrr-do, and this helped me branch out! Watch out for hot pinks, pastel periwinkle, and electric lime!

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Check out these groovy pants and perfect warm-weather shirt!

Top $15.80 Forever 21

Pants$17.80 (I KNOW, I KNOW- TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. IT’S TRUE PEOPLE) Also, Forever 21

Oh, and welcome to my living room.

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These pants don’t have pockets, and quite honestly, I’m thrilled. It would have made them just few dollars more for something I don’t need. I’ve got cute purses for holding stuff! *A definite note-to-self as I think about making myself pants in the future*

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TIme for a pedi… don’t look at my toes.^^

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^^ This is totally what it would be like if we were gabbing on my couch

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AHH!!!!!

I’m off to go out in the cloudy weather! But I’ll be pretending its sunny in my new duds!

xo

I’m also wearing a suit, but you can’t see it. teehee.

Today I was listening to Justin Timberlake’s new album, “the 20/20 experience”. For some reason, part of me hadn’t really wanted to like it. I haven’t listened since I bought it weeks ago and was feeling fairly “meh” about the absurdly long songs. Well, it got me, and I don’t know if it was just because it’s actually catchy or I was imagining JT suited up.

As long as he’s got his suit and tie, the world is a better place to live in.

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Truth is, though, I really don’t know much about suits. I watched my dad wear one every day to work, I own a couple that I used on professional Miss O appearances, and I’m known to ogle at sharply dressed gentlemen (though they are less common in Portlandia). So I asked myself and subsequently googled: what makes a good suit? 

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Okay not that kind of suit… (you know I couldn’t resist)

What seemed to be consistent results were:

Quality fabric- I feel like this goes without saying, but I didn’t realize it’s wool or bust. One needs a suit that can breath. 

Hand sewn- this allows for the structure to be more fitted, and not flat from using a machine

Lining- this is the inner layer of fabric that lies closest to the body. It should be made of a breathable fabric. Nobody wants to wear a garbage bag.

Canvassed over Fused- this means there is a layer in between the lining and outer fabric that shapes the garment. Were it fused, there would be a material stuck with adhesive to the outer fabric to give it thickness, but it wouldn’t hang quite as well. 

Details- this is what takes a suit from being a uniform to an earmark of a dude who knows the word “debonair”. 

Fit- if the suit doesn’t look like it was made for your body, you’d be better off in your birthday suit. One of the key elements to a great suit is making sure all the hems and seams are right where they should be. Don’t mess around get it tailored so you don’t look like this:

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Sorry bro, that’s not going to get you a date to the office party.

The bottom line with suits is that you can’t fake quality. To get the perfect suit, one must know right from wrong and tight from long. Standing out means taking high-quality detailing to the next level, and you have to be prepared to dish out for those top-notch duds.

Let’s take a moment of silence (aka speechlessness) at some beautiful….. suits.

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Hubba hubba!

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And of course:

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To all of my straight females and gay males reading out there: you’re welcome.

And for all of my fellow How I Met Your Mother fans: well… you know what to do.

🙂

Blearning Blog: Today’s Entry is Brought to You by the Letter “A”

As I go about my days wearing various cotton blends and sporting the signature Northwest scarf/boots combo, I aim to take solace in my mundane street clothes by living vicariously through slideshows of runway models. My coping mechanism is proving itself useful, and I’m slowly but surely becoming more literate in the design world.! So as part of my endeavors, I am instating a new regular feature called the Learning Log Blearning Blog.

The Blearning Blog entries will covers designers from A-Z with one from each letter of the alphabet. So you and I will be 26 designers smarter in no time!

Do me a favor? Don’t tell Sesame Street I jacked their spiel, I heard about what Big Bird’s legal team did to Mitt Romney.

So without further adieu, today’s designer is

Anrealange

I opened up a list of designers A-Z and I clicked the first one I thought sounded completely foreign. I might be more than a little frightened, and I’m glad that my Barbie and Ken dolls are safely halfway across the country. Check out these crazy and quirky looks for the Fall 2013 collection. This Japanese designer used fabrics that are said to change color. So crazy!

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I think there may be a couple guys in there. I can’t tell.

These outlandish fashion antics are no shock to Anrealage fans. Check out these photos of the Spring 2013 collection!

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Kentucky Derby 3013?

I couldn’t find much information as I tried to research, but did find out the designer is Kunihiko Morinaga and has a boutique or two in Japan. The place looks quite stark and small, which would be intimidating for a shopper such as myself.

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I wish I could get my clothes to look that organized…. sigh… The site wouldn’t let me navigate into prices, but I assume it’s enough to pay for my tuition this term.

So there you have it, a little Saturday morning lesson for your fashion betterment. If you are smitten and looking to recreate the far-east stylings of our desinger “A”, you are in luck!

This Ken-doll costume piece can be yours for only $5.88 at wondercostume.com

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Dorkychickinlipstick.com is hereby not be held legally responsible for any and all nightmares relating to this floating head, or any ghostlike fashion models as pictured above.

Have a great weekend 😉

xo

Pics of my trrrenndayyyy outfit 4.10 and a word on kitchen safety

I prefer sewing with fabric, but today I got a little aggressive slicing cheese for a lunchtime sandwich, and my index finger got to experience what it means to be a textile. To be brief, I ended up getting 6 stitches to mend that slice back together and didn’t even get to eat my sandwich.

On the upside, I got a trrrrenday new accessory that matches my new Target steal that I’m highlighting in today’s fa’blogger installment of Pics of my trrrrrrenday outfit!!!!!!

I really hit the bullseye the other day at Target (har-har) and came away with a couple fun, affordable pieces to prep my wardrobe for warmer weather! This white sweater/jacket is made of sweatshirt-like material. It looks like a biker jacket, and is as comfy as PJ’s! I’d call it a total steal for $34.99, because I can wear it as it’s own statement or to warm my chilly shoulders at nighttime.

Today’s photoshoot is on location in my kitchen. Cue the photos!

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(s/o Iowa ^^)

Here’s a reenactment of how things went down. (Minus the sandwich)

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I know this high-fashion shoot has all the glitz and glam that marketing campaigns are infamous for, but don’t be fooled- having proper kitchen safety can be more important than you think.

On behalf of myself and my finger, just buy the pre-sliced cheese next time.